Weekly Seven: Ignored by Oscar

I was pretty bummed when two of my favorite films of 2009, Brothers and (500) Days of Summer, were completely ignored when Oscar nominations were announced a couple weeks ago.  But you know what?  I don’t need justification from the Academy to recognize that these are fantastic movies.  With even further proof, I present you with seven of my all-time favorites that went completely nominationless (that has to be a word, right?).

#7: The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

Sure, the Academy hardly ever recognizes horror movies… but this one was directed by Stanley Kubrick and stars Jack Nicholson for fuck’s sake.

Oscar worthy in:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director (Stanley Kubrick)
  • Best Actor (Jack Nicholson)
  • Best Cinematography

#6: True Romance (Tony Scott, 1993)

I get a lot of shit for this, but True Romance is probably my favorite Tarantino film (even thought it isn’t technically a Tarantino film).  I guess that makes it my favorite Tarantino script then, right?  Either way, I love it.

Oscar worthy in:

  • Best Original Screenplay (Tarantino)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Gary Oldman)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Dennis Hopper)

#5: Matchstick Men (Ridley Scott, 2003)

When Nicolas Cage is on his game, he is absolutely on fire.  He lights up the screen in Matchstick Men, which is also further evidence that Ridley Scott can succeed in any genre.

Oscar worthy in:

  • Best Actor (Nicolas Cage)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Alison Lohman)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay (Nick Griffin, Ted Griffin)

#4: The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1982)

This is probably both Scorsese and De Niro’s most underrated film, and De Niro’s Rupert Pupkin character is every bit as memorable as Jake La Motta from Raging Bull or Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver.

Oscar worthy in:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Original Screenplay (Paul D. Zimmerman)
  • Best Actor (Robert De Niro)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Sandra Bernhard)

#3: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

This movie is about as technically sound as I have seen, featuring great performances all around.  It’s become a modern classic.  We can’t exactly say that about all the movies nominated for Best Picture that year.  Okay, Braveheart gets a pass… but that’s where I draw the line.

Oscar worthy in:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director (Michael Mann)
  • Best Original Screenplay (Michael Mann)
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Editing
  • Best Supporting Actor (Val Kilmer)

#2: Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)

Zodiac was the best film of 2007, with only No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood even coming within the vacinity of its greatness.  Those other two films were awarded with several Oscar nominations and wins while Zodiac was completely ignored.  I guess that’s what you happens when you release a movie in March.  Fincher’s Oscar redemption came when his next film, the far inferior Curious Case of Benjamin Button, was given the obligatory ass-kissing when it received 13 nominations the following year.

Oscar worthy in:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Adapted Screenplay (James Vanderbilt)
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Editing
  • Best Supporting Actor (Robert Downey Jr.)

#1: The Professional (Luc Besson, 1994)

Surprised that I believe another movie got more screwed over than Zodiac?  You shouldn’t be if you’ve seen The Professional.  This movie succeeds on so many levels, that I don’t see how anyone could consider it anything other than a masterpiece.  It is a movie that is technically brilliant, emotionally affecting, thrilling entertaining.  Heath Ledger won an Oscar for a performance that was essentially a painted up Gary Oldman rip-off.  It is a similarity that you can’t deny, and I obviously prefer the original version.  Natalie Portman also gives one of the best child performances I have ever seen.

Oscar worthy in:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director (Luc Besson)
  • Best Original Screenplay (Luc Besson)
  • Best Actor (Jean Reno)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Gary Oldman)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Natalie Portman)

Did I miss some big ones?  Let me know in the replies.

One Response to “Weekly Seven: Ignored by Oscar”
  1. Peyton says:

    Yeah, but, Gary Oldman was not the Joker. Also, imho, I think that the biggest rip off of all those, is Sandra Bernhard. That really is one of the greatest female performances, I have ever seen.

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